Dedicated Dental Malpractice Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri
A dentist, like any other physician, can be held accountable when they deliver substandard care according to the standards of dental practice. A patient’s damage or demise may result from dental errors. Dental malpractice is considered a kind of medical malpractice since harm might result from a dentist’s poor performance. You can recover damages more effectively with the legal advice of a dental malpractice attorney in Kansas City, MO.
Working with our skilled dental malpractice attorney in Kansas City, MO from Ricket Law Firm can help you determine if you need to take action and demystify the legal process. Contact our legal office immediately to learn more about how we may assist you.
Why Do I Need a Dental Malpractice Attorney in Missouri?
Dental malpractice is a serious issue. If you have been injured as a result of dental care, you may be able to file a claim against the dentist or dental practice responsible. However, it can be difficult to prove that a dental professional was negligent, and many cases are unsuccessful.
That’s why it’s important to have our experienced Kansas City dental malpractice attorney on your side.
Assistance in Investigating the Case
If you have been injured as a result of dental malpractice, you may be wondering if you have a case. The best way to find out is to speak with our dental malpractice attorney in Kansas City, MO. We can help you investigate your case and determine if you have a valid claim.
Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim
Our skilled dental malpractice attorney in Kansas City, MO can gather evidence to support your claim. We have access to a variety of resources that can help them build a strong case on your behalf. We may be able to obtain expert testimony from medical professionals, review medical records, and consult with other experts in the field. If you believe you have been the victim of dental malpractice, it is important to speak with us at Ricket Law Firm as soon as possible.
Negotiate With the Dentist on Your Behalf
If you have been injured as a result of dental care, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the dentist. However, negotiating with the dentist on your behalf can be difficult. That’s where our competent Kansas City dental malpractice attorney comes in. We can negotiate with the dentist on your behalf and help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Represent You in Court If Necessary
If you’ve been injured as a result of dental malpractice, you may be wondering if you have any legal recourse. The good news is that you do—and our knowledgeable dental malpractice attorney can represent you in court if necessary.
What Constitutes a Dental Malpractice?
Examples include a patient being injured as a result of dental care, improperly diagnosing or treating oral problems, delayed diagnosis or treatment of an oral ailment, or any case involving malicious or intentional misbehavior resulting from dental care.
Frequently, dental malpractice occurs when a dentist or dental firm performs an unneeded operation for the express aim of increasing profits. For example, a dentist may recommend replacing a filling that is in good condition, resulting in additional costs.
imilar to medical malpractice, dental malpractice includes a dentist’s negligence that results in patient injury. Negligence is not limited to the commission of egregious dental errors; it may also refer to the failure to take measures that would prevent patient injury. Examples of common dental malpractice include:
- Intentional wrongdoing resulting in patient harm
- Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis
- Not addressing a significant dental condition
- Dental tool misuse
- Not adhering to correct dental treatments
- Substance abuse while in the workplace
Additionally, there are certain instances of malpractice that often pertain specifically to dentists. Certain dentists and dental assistants make errors involving:
- Use of dental anesthesia improperly
- Inappropriate tooth extraction
- Ignoring essential patient medical history
Injuries like fractured jaws, temporomandibular joint abnormalities, nerve injuries in the mouth, and loss of taste have been attributed to negligent dentists. Poorly performed treatments including dental surgery and imperfect crowns might cause further medical issues. Consider calling our Kansas City dental malpractice attorney if you have experience with any of those.
What Are the Common Causes of Dental Malpractice in Missouri?
There are several reasons for dental malpractice that can be harmful to patients. Certain dentists engage in substance misuse while on the job. The usage of such drugs can drastically impair their oral abilities. Other dentists may make mistakes because
- Sleep deprivation
- Incapability to execute certain operations
- Being hurried and anxious
- Tight work schedule
- Dental staffing gaps
Lack of patient information, incorrect therapy, chronic discomfort, technical issues, and protracted treatment to correct dentist errors are common causes of dental malpractice lawsuits. To file a claim for dental malpractice, you must specify the source of your injuries.
Once the cause has been identified, you must uncover supporting evidence. Collecting evidence might be challenging if you do not know where to look and the dentist attempts to conceal what occurred. Begin by requesting copies of your medical records. Consult with our skilled dental malpractice attorney in Kansas City, MO, to determine your next course of action.
We at Ricket Law Firm can assist you in building a solid claim for substantial compensation.
What Are the Elements of a Dental Malpractice Claim in Missouri?
To successfully demonstrate dental malpractice, the injured patient must establish the following:
Relationship between dentist and patient
An established dentist-patient relationship is required.
Medical standard of care
The medical standard of care is the degree of treatment a comparably qualified dentist would have delivered under the same conditions. This is often established by a medical expert witness knowing the contested technique.
Breach of duty of care
You must demonstrate that your dentist’s acts or inactions caused you harm or made your existing condition worse. An expert medical witness can also assist in showing precisely how the standard of care was broken, for example, by explaining the measures that should have been taken to prevent harm.
Severity of damage
You must record the nature and severity of your injury.
How to Prove Liability in a Dental Malpractice Case?
In cases of dental malpractice, proving guilt or liability can be an uphill struggle. In medical or dental malpractice cases, the injured plaintiff has the burden of proving that the dentist acted unreasonably under the circumstances.
This often indicates that the dentist performed something that a reasonable dentist would not have done or that the dentist neglected to do something that a reasonable dentist would have done.
The Preponderance of Evidence
Additionally, the injured patient must demonstrate a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, it is more likely than not that he or she incurred an injury or damage as a result of the alleged instance of malpractice. Finally, the patient must demonstrate that his or her injuries were caused by negligence.
Before bringing a lawsuit against the healthcare provider, you must have a certified expert on your side, typically an independent dentist. This medical professional must certify in writing and with a fair degree of medical confidence that your treating dentist did not behave properly, given the circumstances. In other words, he or she violated the accepted level of care.
Once a competent dental expert gets involved in your case, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking monetary compensation and damages for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Filing a Claim and the Settlement Processes in a Missouri Dental Malpractice Case
Once our skilled Kansas City dental malpractice attorney confirms that you are entitled to claim your dentist, the claim-filing procedure may commence. When our dental malpractice lawyer presents a demand package for our injured client, this procedure begins.
Settlement Demand Package: Demand Letter
The settlement demand letter is one of the most essential components of the settlement demand package. This letter will include a settlement demand based on the coverage limitations of the underlying insurance policy.
Final Settlement Value
In addition to the settlement demand letter, the demand package will contain several other papers about the case and its final settlement value. First, the package will include copies of the patient’s medical treatment records and medical bills, which will indicate any follow-up operations the patient was required to undertake due to the malpractice and the cost of those procedures
Additionally, the package should contain any studies or findings that a certified dental specialist made for the case. These records can indicate that the treating dentist committed an error under the circumstances. If you need to undertake medical treatment in the future, documents should also be included in the demand package.
The compensation demand package may contain your notes or diary entries detailing the daily discomfort and symptoms you endured. The settlement demand package may also contain a victim impact statement explaining the malpractice’s total impact on the patient’s health and life.
Initial Settlement Offer
After our professional dental malpractice attorney in Kansas City, MO, has filed the demand package and the insurance adjuster has had an opportunity to analyze it, the adjuster may make a first settlement offer to determine whether the patient would accept it and end the case.
Most of the time, however, the initial settlement offers made by insurance company adjusters are exceedingly low and well below the claim’s real worth. Insurance companies make these cheap settlement offers to determine if you are in a rush to settle and if so, to attempt to settle the case for as little money as possible.
Settlement Adjusters as Employed by the Insurance Company
The insurance company employs adjusters, and they strive to save the insurance company as much money as possible. Most dental malpractice cases take many rounds of talks before the insurance company substantially increases its settlement offer. You have the option of launching a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to provide you with the monetary damages you require to be properly and fairly compensated for your dental injuries.
We at Ricket Law Firm will actively assist you in pursuing the maximum monetary compensation available through a settlement. If you cannot reach a favorable settlement, we might file a lawsuit and represent you in court.
Filing a Lawsuit and the Litigation Process in a Missouri Dental Malpractice Case
The formal beginning of a dental malpractice lawsuit is the filing of a complaint. When our skilled Kansas City dental malpractice attorney and the dentist’s insurance company cannot agree on a settlement figure, we will often file a lawsuit. However, after a plaintiff files a case, the parties may continue to negotiate, and a settlement may be reached at any time.
Typically, the following will occur throughout the litigation phase of a dental malpractice case.
- Responses and Interrogatories. The parties will exchange written records and responses to interrogatories, including written inquiries concerning the occurrence, the injuries and damages sustained, and the possibility of future dental or other medical care.
- Depositions. Each party will take the deposition of the other to learn more about the matter. For instance, our skilled dental malpractice lawyer will depose the dentist, while the dentist’s attorney or the insurance company’s attorney will depose the patient. The objective of depositions is to learn what the opposing side remembers factually and to obtain a sense of how the witness will testify at trial.
- Pre-trial Conference. The parties will participate in a pre-trial or settlement conference where the court will make a final effort to bring them together and resolve the issue.
The parties may choose to go to trial if the dental malpractice lawsuit cannot be resolved during the litigation phase. At a trial for dental malpractice, the jury will decide the result of all contested case matters.
Typically, this indicates that the jury will decide the following matters:
- Whether or not the dentist committed one or more instances of dental malpractice
- Whether the patient sustained one or more injuries
- Whether the injuries were the direct and proximate result of the dentist’s negligence
Determination of Monetary Compensation
In addition, the court will instruct the jury to determine what monetary compensation (or damages) the patient is entitled to collect as a result of the dentist’s negligence.
As an alternative to pursuing a civil jury trial in a dental malpractice case, the parties may choose to seek one or more forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Alternative Dispute Resolutions
Mediation and arbitration are the most used types of alternative conflict resolution. A mediator chosen by the parties or the court will attempt to assist the parties in settling a mediation hearing.
- Mediation. A mediator could identify the possible advantages and disadvantages of the dental malpractice case if it went to trial. The mediator will also assist in facilitating settlement negotiations and resolving the dispute as expeditiously as feasible.
- Arbitration. Parties might choose arbitration as an alternative to mediation in the dental malpractice dispute. Before the arbitration hearing, the parties choose a low and high sum for the case. Neither side, however, will reveal these boundaries to the arbiter. At the arbitration hearing, a neutral third-party arbiter will hear all of the provided evidence and award damages to the patient.
If you decide to file a lawsuit, our experienced dental malpractice attorney in Kansas City, MO, will explain your legal alternatives. We will be able to assist you in determining whether to accept a pending settlement offer from the dentist’s malpractice insurance carrier or take the issue to court. We can also assist you in determining if mediation or arbitration would be beneficial in your case and may be able to propose one of these options.
What are the Possible Defenses of a Dental Malpractice Claim?
There are certain possible defenses for dental malpractice claims. It might be challenging to show dental negligence.
Establishing the standard of care violated and the resulting damage is difficult. Even if the patient can establish obvious dental malpractice, the dentist may still have alternative defenses, such as the following.
The injury was not due to the dentist's actions.
For a malpractice claim to be successful, the plaintiff must demonstrate that he or she was injured due to the dentist’s negligence and that the dentist did not exercise the level of care that a reasonable and sensible dentist would apply in a similar scenario.
There was no negligence on the dentist's part.
An injury may result from previous dental procedures or the patient’s actions. In addition, the dentist’s behavior must be unreasonable compared to other dentists. For instance, if a dentist fails to detect a problem, the dentist cannot be held responsible if other dentists cannot be expected to do so as well.
The statute of limitation for your claim has ended.
Claims for dental malpractice must be filed within a certain timeframe. If a person waits too long, they will be unable to file a claim regardless of how severely they were harmed. Each state has its statute of limitations for dental malpractice lawsuits.
How Is Dental Malpractice Assessed?
Injuries in dental malpractice cases may be physical, financial, or non-economic. In situations involving personal injury, plaintiffs are granted compensatory damages, or monetary compensation, to seek to recompense them for their injuries.
Included among the variables used to assess dental malpractice damage are:
- The severity of the dental error or damage that happened
- Whether the dentist can repair the damage or error
- Whether the patient experienced bodily discomfort
- Whether the injury will influence the patient’s future abilities, such as the patient’s capacity to eat or talk
- Comparisons with examples from the same area of practice
- The background of the responsible dentist or dental professional
- Whether the patient’s injury aggravated a pre-existing ailment
What Should I Do if I Suspect Dental Malpractice Caused a Death?
Requesting and getting all dental and medical records and radiology films for inspection by our experienced dental malpractice attorney in Kansas City, MO, is a smart place to begin. We will provide them to professionals. Depending on the circumstances, you may require the opinion of a dentist, oral surgeon, oncologist, pathologist, anesthesiologist, infectious disease expert, or another physician.
Gather documentation to prove family’s income loss.
Sometimes, to receive a deceased person’s medical information, a family member must be appointed administrator, executor, or personal representative by the court. Additionally, you should acquire any medical bills, the death certificate, burial expenditures, and documentation proving the family’s income loss.
Obtain an autopsy.
If the death occurred fairly recently, you might choose to obtain an autopsy. We recognize that this is a highly private family choice. Autopsies can help determine the exact cause of death, although they are not usually required if other methods can establish the case.
What Compensation Can the Family Receive After a Wrongful Dental Death Case?
When a patient dies due to dental malpractice, our Kansas City dental malpractice attorney is skilled at examining the medical, dental, and legal difficulties that arise.
According to state legislation, a personal representative of a deceased person’s estate may pursue action for the death of a patient caused by the dentist’s negligence. The case must be brought within two years of the decedent’s death by a court-appointed, lawfully authorized personal representative.
Compensation for Wrongful Death in Medical Malpractice
In a Missouri wrongful death case against a dentist or oral surgeon, damages are awarded to the decedent’s spouse, domestic partner, and next of kin. Damage in a lawsuit against a dentist or oral surgeon for wrongful death may include compensation for
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses for the patient’s final sickness or injury
- Lost salary and benefits the dead would have received had they lived
- Absence of alternative assistance, care, companionship, and services
What is the Statute of Limitations in Dental Malpractice Cases in Missouri?
If you have suffered a mouth injury that you feel was caused by dental negligence, contact our experienced Kansas City dental malpractice attorney as soon as possible for representation. This is because, like all other jurisdictions, the State of Missouri enforces a filing deadline for medical and dental malpractice claims and lawsuits in state court.
The Two-Year Deadline
Plaintiffs in Missouri must submit a claim for dental malpractice within two years of the claimed occurrence of misconduct. The two-year deadline is hard-and-fast regulation, with just a handful of highly limited exceptions that may apply under particular conditions.
Suppose you miss the time to file a dental malpractice claim. In that case, you will never be able to seek monetary compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages. Therefore, the sooner our experienced dental malpractice attorney in Kansas City, MO, becomes involved in your case, the better it will likely be for you and your case.
The knowledgeable legal team at Ricket Law Firm is aware of the strict nature of our state’s statutes of limitations. We can submit your dental malpractice claim or lawsuit well before the statute of limitations expires, protecting your right to monetary recompense.
How Can Our Skilled Dental Malpractice Attorney in Kansas City, MO, Help?
We represent the families of individuals who have been injured or died because of the negligence of a dentist, periodontist, oral surgeon, or another dental practitioner.
Contact our professional Kansas City dental malpractice attorney as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation and receive the support you need to preserve your rights and obtain the maximum compensation and justice you deserve.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to the carelessness of a Missouri dentist, call us immediately to see how we may assist you.
Seek Legal Advice from a Reliable Medical Malpractice Attorney in Kansas City, MO Today!
The Ricket Law Firm has years of experience handling similar personal injury cases to yours. Patients affected by dental malpractice may face substantial challenges, including financial losses and excruciating physical pain. We are devoted to guiding you through a challenging period by defining a plan for your case and tailoring our considerable resources to your particular need.
Come to Us at Every Stage of the Process
It should not come as a surprise that legal action might be difficult. When instances include medical treatments, it can be difficult to interpret medical language and determine what went wrong.
We will be accessible at every stage of the process so that you are never in the dark about what’s next. If you choose our team to defend you, your case will have the greatest reasonable outcome. We will work persistently on your behalf. Send us a message today, and let’s talk about your case!